Cooking with Lavender: Easy, Quick, and Delicious Lavender Vinaigrette, and Why I Like Turnips in My Salad

Yes, you heard that right. Turnips. In my salad. They're so much better, and sweeter, than radishes, which have too much of a bite for me, and can be so bitter. And, I probably have an acre of turnips right now. We plant a mixture that feeds the animals in the winter, and then gets tilled under in the spring for green manure. Edible turnips are just an added benefit.

Raw turnips are good. Really! And good for you. Really! An excellent source of vitamins C, B6, and E, and copper, manganese, folic acid, calcium and fiber. And the turnip tops, or greens, are a nutritional power house, with vitamins A, C, K, calcium, lutein, and folate. (Although, the only way I like to cook them is using Paula Deen's recipe for collard's.)

I did not like turnips in any way, shape, or form growing up. I hated the smell of them cooking. But as you get older, which you've probably experienced yourself, you find your taste changing, and you find yourself eating things you never did before. Like turnips, and cabbage, and sweet potatoes, and pecan pie. I really don't know why. Taste buds change, I guess. I know my husband and father-in-law add hot sauce or red pepper to everything known to man. I think their taste buds are dead.

And did you get the last issue of Everyday Food? The December issue with the cookies on the front? I can't wait to try the recipes for Honey Glazed Turnips, (and I'm thinking I may use lavender honey!) and Turnip Sweet Potato Gratin. I already add turnips to mashed potatoes. But don't tell my boys. And I add them to my roasted root vegetables tossed in olive oil with herbs de provence. When they are very small and new I simply saute them with butter. Delicious!

Here's a cute story, and then we'll get to the Lavender Vinaigrette. I used to pester my Grandma Cope with thousands of questions about growing up in the old days, and she would patiently tell me things, like how to bleed a pig and make hog head cheese (gross!), how to render fat, and so forth. But when she was a little girl, and food was a mite scarce in the fall and winter months, they would cook the big turnips in the woodstove in the morning, then they would put the hot turnips in their pockets and carry them to school to keep their hands warm. Then they would eat their turnips for lunch.

So when we got back from Thanksgiving I had some yummy leftover Turducken and wanted a light dressing that wouldn't overpower the delicious combination of flavors. So I made my version of Lavender Vinaigrette. Hopefully, you've already made the infused Lavender Honey, or have some lavender honey on hand. The addition of the raw turnips, which I picked fresh from the field, so sweet and crispy, made such a delicious combination I just had to share it with you!

Lavender Vinaigrette
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup olive or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon lavender honey
1/2 teaspoon chopped culinary lavender buds
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk vinegar, mustard, and culinary lavender in a bowl. Drizzle in oil and whisk in. Whisk in lavender honey. Add salt and pepper to taste.
NOTE: You can also use your food processor. This recipe doubles easily.

Thanks for stopping by today. If you have any great recipes for turnips please share them. I have alot of turnips to cook this winter!

Have a great day! Cathy


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